Andrew Stuttaford at National Review Online turned me on to Traction Man. He’s a U.K. journalist with a rare bone disease who’s been sentenced to eight months in traction in a National Health Service hospital and is blogging about the joys of NHS healthcare from his bed.

Being in traction is boring, so Traction Man began taking photographs of his NHS-provided lunches, pasting the pictures into his blog, and asking his readers to help him guess what’s being served (here’s the Sept. 27 posting). The game–”Hospital Food Bingo”–requires a cast-iron stomach, as it were, to play, but Traction Man’s loyal readers duly help him answer such culinary conundrums as “Name that soup,” “Dessert or some sort of building material? You decide,” “Escaped from the path lab?,” and “What the ****?”

Traction Man’s NHS food postings blogs have won him coverage in the U.K. Daily Mail (caution: many more nauseating photos), but his blog, Notes From a Hospital Bed, covers other aspects of the single-payer paradise that is Great Britain, such as suggesting that the NHS cure its perennial deficits by renting out hospital wards for medical-theme sex orgies.

Here’s another musing from Traction Man:

There may be shortages of certain non-essential resources in the NHS, things like nurses, drugs or clean bedding, but there’s one indispensable item that doesn’t appear to be in short supply: consultants – management consultants.

And here’s another:

The Royal Bournemouth Hospital announced that it was one of many hospitals that had taken the precaution of removing alcohol-based hand-cleaning gel from reception areas in a bid to stop visitors drinking it. Such is the desperate level of life here in the UK that people are obviously stopping off at the hospital on the way home from work for a ‘quick gel’ with their mates. I knew we were in a recession, but I never realized it was that bad.

When the government is running the healthcare system, it helps to have a sense of humor.